This paper highlights a number of different positions that can be taken regarding the reason for and purpose of a gender approach in energy planning. The two extreme positions ‘gender for efficiency’ and ‘gender for equity’ are described. Most energy planners are found somewhere in between these extremes. Next the question of how the gender approach fits into the overall planning approach is addressed. Gender differences in resource distribution are found already at the household level and these need to be taken into account by energy planners.